“When I create a jewel, I don’t think about a ‘jewel’ but a ‘sculpture’, putting in all my convictions and strength. It is only later that I adapt the sculpture with technical tools to make it wearable.”
- Sophia Vari
Louisa Guinness Gallery is delighted to announce its second solo exhibition, Beauty & Harmony of internationally-acclaimed Greek artist Sophia Vari.
The exhibition takes a unifying approach to Sophia Vari’s entire oeuvre presenting a retrospective of over 50 works including her jewellery, paintings, sculptures and objects from the past three decades.
Vari’s jewellery or portable sculptures, as she likes to call them, first became a part of the artist’s body of work over 30 years. At a time in her life when a punishing international schedule kept her constantly on the move. While travelling she carried with her a small box of plasticine, from which she would mold miniature sculptures. Exploring in small scale the preoccupations of her large-scale work, these miniature sculptures employed the same criteria as her sculptures and became the basis of her jewellery designs.
“It is a real challenge for me and it is very much like creating a sculpture, made to be worn. No doubt, the fact that I am a woman has its advantages. Firstly because I can try it on me – and the fact that I have greater sensitivity compared to a male artist – enables me to highlight the female trait to a greater degree”, says Vari.
Only the highest quality materials from marble to bronze are used in Vari’s large-scale work. Similarly, her jewellery pieces combine the most refined materials such as gold, silver, wood, ebony, leather, root emerald and sapphire among others. Each piece of jewellery is a part of a limited edition or is a unique work, incised with the artist’s signature and numbered like her sculptural and pictorial works.
Vari’s work is a reflection of her multicultural upbringing, her artistic language is distinct and informed by a multiplicity of influences from Mayan, Egyptian, Olmec and Cycladic artistic traditions as well as Ancient and Baroque aesthetics. Her practice is an exploration of bold geometric forms, an examination of volume, painterly curves and lines, resulting in a composition that is both peaceful and elegant but also captures a harmonious tension in her large-scale work, equally apparent in her jewellery.
From left to right: Médée II Ring, 2010, 18k gold with a cultured pearl & ebony, 2.7 x 2.5 cm, edition of 8 + 2 AP; Danaé' Brooch & Pendant, pre 2000, 18k yellow gold with half loop & pin on reverse, 12.3 x 7.8 x 2.9 cm; Sidéro Earrings, pre 2000, 18k gold & ebony with clips on reverse, 4.39 x 2.45 x 2.5 cm, edition of 8 + 2 AP.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Sophia Vari is a Greek artist who lives and works in Monaco. Born in Athens, to a Greek father and a Hungarian mother, Sophia Vari spent part of her childhood in Switzerland, studied in England and France, and lives nowadays between New-York, Monaco and Pietrasanta. Famous for both her painting and sculpture, her work has been internationally exhibited in Paris, Athens, Florence, Basen Basen, New York and Caracas. In the Fall of 2018, Vari presented a series of monumental works at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in Athens. Internationally renowned as a painter and a sculptor in her own right, she is also married to the well-known Columbian painter Fernando Botero.